Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
Portland:The launch of Taurus United Sports Academy in Port Antonio, Portland, by Dr Everton Flemmings, is being embraced by stakeholders in the parish and is being viewed as a positive sign, which could unearth new talents among adolescents, while grooming them professionally.
Flemmings, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Aim Overseas Economy (AOE), which is based in The Cayman Islands, explained that the aim is to unearth and harness the sporting skills and talents of youngsters who are between the ages of eight and 18 years old.
"This academy is the umbrella for all sporting events in Portland," commented Flemmings.
He added: "This is a structured intellectual academy - training youths through sports for their lifetime goal. You have to be disciplined to come under this structure, and persons are assessed upon entering the academy. Every athlete involved in the various sporting disciplines can be a part of this academy, providing that discipline, growth, intellectual capabilities, and intelligence are detected or identified by the assessors."
According to Flemmings, the academy is centered on a performance-based programme where youths are evaluated in the areas of socio-cultural understanding of the game, awareness of the game strategy, player development in training, innovation in training, management development, and player response to coach requests and instruction.
Flemmings, who holds a Phd in management and energy, pointed out that the academy has since received a major boost with the endorsement of overseas Spanish giant football club Real Madrid, forming a partnership where coaches involved with the academy will undergo training at that club, with the likelihood also of local players getting the same treatment and opportunities at the Spanish club.
He noted that the move had been made possible through dialogue and negotiations between his company (AOE) and a Chinese-based company, 'Soxna', which develops the plan, manages, and develops the infrastructure of Real Madrid academies around the world.
The Taurus United Sports Academy is currently operating at Carder Park, the premiere playing field in the parish, where organisers are seeking to bring together approximately 500 youngsters in the various sporting disciplines, including cricket, football, netball, volleyball, basketball, swimming, table tennis, and boxing.
support and endorse
Flemmings has revealed that the Government has been engaged in talks about the function, operation, and existence of the youth academy, and that the powers that be are expected to support and endorse the programme.
Continuing, Flemmings said: "Real Madrid are partnering with us to enhance the programme in a bigger way by providing financing in building the infrastructure in this parish. This is to ensure that the infrastructure is at an international level to represent the image of Real Madrid Foundation globally. So in partnering with the Taurus United Sports Academy, they want to achieve such initially with 400 to 500 youths right across the parish of Portland, both male and females. All our players will have that line of matriculation into Real Madrid and other clubs."